Genevieve. (from a poem by S.T. Coleridge entitled ’Love’), 1812, Dawe, George (1781–1829). Gift of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, 1936. Te Papa

And So I Won My Genevieve 

Thursday 22 November 20125.30pm–6.15pm
Angels & Aristocrats, Level 5
Free entry
Romantic-literature specialist Heidi Thomson unravels the connections between Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s secret love and George Dawe’s painting Genevieve.

Coleridge published an early version of his poem 'Love' in 1799. A later version of the poem ended up in an edition of Lyrical Ballads, a collection of poems by Coleridge and William Wordsworth, published in 1802. 'Love' and 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' became two of Coleridge's most popular poems during his lifetime.

When Dawe exhibited Genevieve at the Royal Academy in 1812 he probably did not know who had inspired Coleridge’s poem. But dark secrets underlie the inspiration and composition of this poem. In this talk, those secrets – and the poem’s link to Dawe's painting – are revealed.

Heidi Thomson is Associate Professor in the School of English, Film, Theatre, and Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington.

Find out about the exhibition Angels & Aristocrats